Sanity breaking out all over

First the French, now the Aussies: Reports are the Australians will legalize taping shows from television, and ripping CDs to MP3 players.

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2 Responses to Sanity breaking out all over

  1. cweben says:

    Thank you to think about the french !
    Kiss from Paris

  2. ACS says:

    Whoa, slow down, getting ahead of yourself here.

    I am an Australian and I think I can shed some light on these new measures.

    As many of you now the Australian Copyright Act does not have the same wide ranging copyright defence of “Fair Use” as enjoyed by our american cousins. The Australian defence of Fair Dealing is very limited and may only be exercised in very limited circumstances. In fact, Kimberlee Weatherall (, an Australian Intellectual Property Academic at Melbourne University has long argued (probably correctly) that the use of an iPod or Mp3 player is prima facie and outright illegal in Australia because the copyright act does not envision conversion of licences from one medium to another. In other words if you are licenced to use a CD you are not licenced to convert that CD to another digital format.

    Recently however the Australian Government requested submissions on a “Fair Use” defence to be included in Australia. The results of that inquiry have not be included in the legislation yet.

    I would remind everyone that the Kazaa decision in the Federal Court was a powerful blow against file sharing – unlike the Betamax case there was no room to argue that there were legitimate purposes for file sharing because there could be no fair use of materials under the act. Damages will be heard in April and it is likely that the entertainment industry will ask for about 1.1 billion dollars.

    I do note that the Copyright Act (Cth) is a little outdated despite the digital agenda reforms in 1999 and 2000. Despite these changes there is still a strong defference against converting copyright material between mediums. In particular I note that it is still an infringement of copyright to convert source to object code and vice versa without permission of the copyright owner.

    PLUS – most importantly of all – Phillip Rudock is not the most honest or accurate of gentlemen. I wouldnt trust a word he says about any reform until it is on the statute books.

    But it is nice to have our country in the spotlight for once.

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